“Like A Lady”
Written by Dave Barnes, Michelle Buzz, Martin Johnson, Brandon Scott, and Hillary Scott
Lady A(ntebellum) have always sucked.
Their aggressively mediocre material, coupled with Hillary Scott’s bland and colorless vocals and the non-existent harmonies provided by her bandmates, have produced cloying and tiresome country muzak that has been a drag on the genre for as long as they’ve been on the scene.
They’ve never had an original thought in their heads. Even their one decent song, “Need You Now,” was a college dorm drunk rewrite of the far superior “I May Hate Myself in the Morning,” stripped of that classic’s maturity, angst, and vocals sung in key.
But they sink to new lows with “Like A Lady.”
Their co-opting of a black woman’s stage name and their abuse of their wealth and connections to destroy her livelihood, had already shown that the A still very much stands for Antebellum, and their pathetic “we want to meet the moment!” pledge was quickly exposed as the performative garbage that it was from the beginning.
But to do this! To be so gratuitous as to build an entire song around the name you have stolen from a black woman, and then present yourself as championing women with that very record, is so shockingly, relentlessly awful that it makes me sick to my stomach.
Here’s just a little of their self-serving trash:
As we were writing it, I was like ‘ It’s always been my dream to do a song that combines the things I love about Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ and Shania Twain’s ‘ Man! I Feel Like A Woman!’ – two of the most strong. powerful female songs ever. So it was like ‘ How can we do our version of that?’ “.
Its powerful statement is one that’s important to all the group members, and as Hillary goes on to say “It’s incredible that Charles and Dave, in all their masculinity, are willing to sing right alongside me on this song… it’s super important for strong, great men to stand beside women and propel them forward“.
“This song has such a great feel to it” band member Charles Kelley adds. ” One of the coolest parts of being a co-ed band is being able to share those different perspectives, so that’s just part of what we get to do”. And Dave Haywood adds ” We are some of the biggest champions for ‘Like A Lady’ and we’re honoured to stand alongside Hillary. We’ve had a front row seat to her strength over the years and we love linking arms with her on this song”
A song written as a blatant, in-your-face insult to a black woman is presented as an anthem for women, and the men present themselves as heroes for supporting their heroine as she strikes a blow for women’s rights by….being openly cruel and vindictive toward the black woman who refused to provide cover to their faux wokeness and whose livelihood they have destroyed.
The astonishing sense of white privilege and their sickening sense of entitlement permeates everything on and around “Like A Lady.” To even mention those Shania Twain and Dolly Parton classics in the same breath as this garbage record is an insult not only to the talent of those two women, but to the fact that they are among the few country artists who have shown real solidarity with black Americans during this time of racial reckoning.
The song title is an idiot’s variation on Ingrid Andress’ “Lady Like.” (“Ooh! We can call it Like A Lady! Get it???”) They drop the line “Hips don’t lie” as if Shakira ghost wrote it for them. And the hook, if you can call it that, is a carbon copy of Britney Spears’ “(You Drive Me) Crazy.”
Everything on “Like A Lady” is assembled from spare parts and assembled on the backs of other women who have done the work.
There is a lot of talk about implicit bias and, to borrow from another terrible song, “accidental racism” these days.
But the racism on display in “Like A Lady” is explicit and intentional, and it’s a mark of shame that will be more memorable than any of the white bread music that they’ve made over the years.
We’ve always known that they were a terrible band. With “Like A Lady,” they also make clear that they are terrible people.